We went to the beach yesterday.
It was definitely Not a Swimming Beach. We went with some friends, and the people who came in our group were the only ones there. I was concerned at first that it wasn’t even a public beach, as we got there by ducking between the headstone shop and a barn then driving along a pair of tire ruts through tall grass before pulling out onto the beach. Yes, we parked on the sand. Several people got stuck. Adventure! Don’t worry; I was assured that it was a public beach, just not much frequented (for obvious reasons). Actually, there are only one or two beaches on this part of the coast that are safe for swimming – they’ve put in breakers and barriers to calm the waters before they get to shore there – because everywhere else?
there are fantastic waves, and riptides, and undertows. Yeah – that is right along the beach. See the little seashell in the lower right-hand corner? It was breathtakingly gorgeous, though.
Honestly, this (Japan, not just the beach) is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in my life. It’s easy to see why their native religion is one that venerates nature. Between the ocean, the mountains, and the forests, a simple jaunt into the countryside borders on a spiritual experience. Back to the beach, though –
This is when we arrived. Note the hesitant postures – what is this stuff? – and the presence of shoes, socks, and toys. This next photo was taken less than an hour afterward.
Dirty, barefoot, and with a distinct whiff of ‘We don’t need no stinkin’ buckets!’ That was the last picture I took of them before I put the camera back in the car so I could play. You should have seen them when we left! Charlie tried to taste the sand. Max tried to fill his watering can with the rising tide. They both almost got sucked out to sea when I brought them to the water’s edge to get their feet wet in the ocean. (Although that was the reason I was holding their hands, it’s still kind of frightening.) We made a sand ‘mountain’ and decorated it with seashells – there were literally piles of huge, unbroken seashells swept up against the dunes – crazy! We made a driftwood bonfire, had hot dogs and roasted marshmallows. We saw the moon reflected on the ocean. It. Was. Awesome.
I collected a little box full of seashells and other small treasures, too:
A chunk or two of driftwood, some small, smooth stones; I found a chunk of something we suspect might be a sponge (upper right hand corner). Many small shells, lots of larger ones, and a bit of the dark sand that found its way home with us. I also picked up pieces of broken shells that had been worn smooth. Mom, this beats Cocoa Beach all hollow.
At any rate, Greg will be gone soon and it was the best way imaginable to say goodbye.